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Can the Wii U Survive Against the PS4 and Xbox One? 335

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-much-can-one-plumber-do dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Now that both Sony and Microsoft have announced their next-gen consoles, and we've gotten solid information about their hardware, technology, and features, Eurogamer asks whether Nintendo's struggling Wii U will be able to hold its own once the new competition arrives. 'Wii U has tanked — there's no other way to put it — with even the release of traditional big-hitters like Dragon Quest 10 failing to make a dent in the Japanese market. If you believe certain analysts, April saw things getting even worse in the U.S. with the Wii U shifting under 40,000 units, easily outsold by the 360 and PS3 — and, even more embarrassingly, the Wii.' If the Wii U doesn't see a miraculous turnaround, Nintendo may be left with the difficult choice of whether to port its software to competing consoles. It'll also serve as a bellwether to see if the big gamer complaint about the new Sony and Microsoft consoles — that they're only partly about games — is honest. 'At a time when the goal of its competitors is to own the living room, the extent of Nintendo's ambition is simply to be in it — a dedicated games console, and no more.'"
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Can the Wii U Survive Against the PS4 and Xbox One?

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  • More like... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:38AM (#43821485)

    ... can the game industry survive expensive AAA games?

    THQ recently went bankrupt, EA's stock has taken a huge dump from past highs and activision survives mainly by WoW and Call of duty. At this point the next console generation is the least interesting console generation in a long while. Since games have become some multi-headed hydra of trying to be a jack of all trades, master of none in order to sell games to the lowest common denominator. Most modern games are little more then movies /w over simplified gameplay at this point.

    A revolution in tools is needed to scale back team sizes and game development costs and that's decades away. If anything the game industry is probably the most out of touch industry looking for fast $ by releasing games too early with little to no changes.

    • Re:More like... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:27PM (#43821855)

      This is why I think we're seeing Indy games thrive more.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The question is whether the industry can survive AAA priced titles that are really only B games? THQ and EA say they put out AAA titles but that's only in cost to make not quality. The industry can survive the costs. It can't survive overpriced shit.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      That is why I think in the future we are gonna be seeing more games like Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, where you make the triple A game and then use the engine to make smaller episodic games that you can sell cheaper.

      But you can't blame THQ on the gaming market as they would still be here if they hadn't sunk over 100 million dollars into a drawing tablet for consoles. No shit, I'm not kidding, they spent over 100 million dollars cranking out Wacom style drawing tablets for consoles which I wouldn't be surprised i

  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:43AM (#43821507) Homepage
    The Wii was/is far behind its competitors when it came to graphics becaue that wasn't the point. The gameplay and experience was. The game Bully only really makes sense with a Wiimote. And they're doing it again.

    All those "classic" 8-bit games -- Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Archon -- became classics not because of the awesome graphics they packed into a ROM space too small for a fucking To Do list for your mother these days but because of the gameplay. Compare and contrast with Clickfest Diablo 3.

    Tanking? Nintendo are out there not resting on their laurels and working on the one thing that leads to long-term success. Or do you play Minecraft for the incredible graphics experience only achievable with a €3,000 rack of graphics cards?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, all of those "lo fi" games you mention were, in fact, graphically impressive when they came out.

      The Japanese have a wonderful ability to take success and iterate over and over, but Nintendo is having a harder time keeping it fresh.

      Oh, and Minecraft does take advantage of high-end hardware quite nicely. I doubt that the Wii U has the chops to do much with that engine before the CPU grinds to a halt and the memory fills up like a sinking ship...

    • by DrEldarion (114072) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:19PM (#43821787)

      Going for gameplay? The Wii had the following:

      1) The same old Nintendo standbys that they rehash every generation, except now with tacked-on motion controls that everyone hated.
      2) A ridiculous amount of gimmicky terrible games that companies pumped out to appeal to the loads of casual gamers who bought the console.
      3) EXTREMELY few and far between good titles which took advantage of the Wiimote in a non-gimmicky way, like Boom Blox.
      4) Games which didn't use motion controls at all and could have been done on any console, but were gimped and put out on the Wii because of the huge install base.

      You're making the classic mistake of assuming that power = graphics, as well. Power lets you do better AI, it lets you have more objects on screen, it lets you do better physics, etc. etc. For a great example of how a game had to be made far worse to allow the Wii to run it, look at all the problems with Dead Rising.

      Every gamer I know who has a Wii played Wii Sports to death, maybe played a couple other games on there, and then has let it collect dust. Every non-gamer I know who bought one only uses it as a Netflix box. The Wii may have been a financial success for Nintendo, but it was a dud of a console as far as entertainment value goes.

      • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:39PM (#43821957) Homepage
        1) The games that had stood the test of time for. gameplay.
        2) Terrible gimmicks are Nintendo's fault? I like DDR (because I can beat my wife at it). I like Mario Kart (my kid likes to play with me). I like LfD and the old arcade-style quick games that Sports and similar offer. My wife likes the yoga shit. NfS sucks because it tries to force non-native controls on the Wii controller, just like the shitty port of Bully to the PC did.
        3) Again, how is this Nintendo's fault? Fucking FIFA 2013 is nothing but a goddamned rebadge of FIFA2012. How is that you blame anyone but the publisher?
        4) Games don't have to implement motion control anymore than PacMan had to find a use for the fire button that all home 8-bit consoles had at the time. Again, whose fault is this?

        I live in Germany; we ain't got no Netflix (but we do have USB sticks and a Samsung TV capable of playing damned near anything in an AVI wrapper).

      • by tgd (2822) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @04:40PM (#43823471)

        Every gamer I know who has a Wii played Wii Sports to death, maybe played a couple other games on there, and then has let it collect dust. Every non-gamer I know who bought one only uses it as a Netflix box. The Wii may have been a financial success for Nintendo, but it was a dud of a console as far as entertainment value goes.

        I find it useful, to this day. The blinking blue lights around the DVD slot keep me from tripping over things when I come down here in the middle of the night.

        No idea WTF the blue blinking means, or how to make it stop. Haven't turned it on in years, but at least I can avoid stomping down on a cat toy at 2am.

    • by tgd (2822)

      All those "classic" 8-bit games -- Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Archon -- became classics not because of the awesome graphics they packed into a ROM space too small for a fucking To Do list for your mother these days but because of the gameplay. Compare and contrast with Clickfest Diablo 3.

      Actually, for what its worth, we were pretty well blown away when those games were being released -- because the graphics WERE awesome. Pac Man? Holy shit color and music! Donkey Kong? Like ten things moving on the screen at once!

      And the games turning into classics has more to do with nostalgia and marketing -- the games you know about from that era are the games that were marketed well, and showed up in every pizza place and bar. There were hundreds of games with the identical gameplay -- many of them bett

  • used games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anthony_greer (2623521) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:46AM (#43821535)

    I will buy into the platform that lets me buy and sell used games openly, without paying a tax to the mothership.

    I buy maybe 1 or 2 games a year for my xbox 360 and I buy them all used because I play to relax and to me Halo 3, 4, 5, 6 whatever all look pretty much the same, I run, I shoot I am happy. That said, I will ony buy a next gen console that allows me the freedom to do two key things:
    1: Loan games to friends, and play games that I am loaned
    2: Buy and Sell used games freely without paying a pimp fee to MS/Sony/Nintendo/Activision/EA/whoever

    Simple as this: if I cant walk into game stop 30-45 days after a title is released and buy it for ~1/2 new price, and sell my 2-3 year old game back for like $5 to lower that cost a bit more, then I just wont game at all because its too expencive for what it is. Again, I have plenty of disposable income, so it isn't an affordability thing, its a value issue.

    • Re:used games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by anthony_greer (2623521) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:56AM (#43821603)

      Also, What about longevity, if the thing has to phone home, what happens in 20 year when my kids want to mess around with an xbox one they got for $10 at the garage sale next door? long after all the servers are shut down, hell, for all we know, ms and sony may not even exist at that point! what then I ask?!?!

      I can still fire up the Playstation (the first one had no numbers after the name kids) and play gran tourismo (again, before the numbers :) ) just like I did in grade school, but kids who get xbox one or PS3 or whatever may not have that same right.

      • by tgd (2822)

        Also, What about longevity, if the thing has to phone home, what happens in 20 year when my kids want to mess around with an xbox one they got for $10 at the garage sale next door? long after all the servers are shut down, hell, for all we know, ms and sony may not even exist at that point! what then I ask?!?!

        I can still fire up the Playstation (the first one had no numbers after the name kids) and play gran tourismo (again, before the numbers :) ) just like I did in grade school, but kids who get xbox one or PS3 or whatever may not have that same right.

        Well, thankfully for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft -- all of which don't meet your criteria -- hundreds of millions of people don't care about those things, and as a result, none of the three care in the least about your opinion.

        At least in 2013, there are all the Kickstarter consoles you can look to, I suppose.

    • Re:used games (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday May 25, 2013 @01:21PM (#43822219) Homepage Journal

      I feel the same way, but what you need to remember in order to leave an intelligent and useful comment is that the game industry does not care about you. You simply don't represent enough additional revenue. How much do you think your participation in the used game market increases the initial retail value of a game? Five dollars? Ten at the outside? There's just no reason for anyone whose motivation is profit to cater to you. That leaves out anything more serious than a hobby effort. I hope that means that you've already reconciled yourself to playing indie and hobbyist games, because that's what's coming for you at this rate, on consoles at least. There has been some successful push-back against DRM on PCs, but there has also been massive acceptance of Steam even though it features DRM which prevents resale of used games, even if you bought them in a brick and mortar store. Once you're not able to resell console games, PC games will surely follow en masse.

      Those of us who only buy one or two new games per year, if that, are simply not able to influence corporate direction in the gaming market. We are going to have to look elsewhere if we want to continue gaming. I've funded one game on kickstarter and I pay (very little, but something) for indie games through humble bundles, but sadly only one of the humble bundle for android games (contre jour) actually runs on my phone without crashing. In spite of most of them being tinkertoy games by comparison to A-list titles, they use as much disk space or even more.

      I guess I'll spend more and more of my gaming hours in emulation in the future, being more or less completely unwilling to pay for games... Grand Theft Auto V may be the last A-list title I ever buy new, which I probably will do. I don't have a Wii U (asymmetric controllers THPPPPT) and I'm not planning on buying an Xbox One or a PS4 no matter what. I'm getting an Ouya but I'm buying it on the strength of XBMC (which runs but so far without hardware decoding) and running emulators and I may never buy a game from them. If it even runs games properly that's a side benefit to me. So in short, what reason do corporate publishers have to care about either of us?

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > How much do you think your participation in the used game market increases the initial retail value of a game? Five dollars? Ten at the outside?

        The entire initial retail value of the game.

        Without a market, you have no place to sell your stuff. Used games increase the overall market for games in general. So do games that are just cheap. They all contribute to an overall experience that entices the console buyer.

        It's all interconnected.

        Not everything has to be a blockbuster. Not everything has to be a ba

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          How much do you think your participation in the used game market increases the initial retail value of a game? Five dollars? Ten at the outside?

          The entire initial retail value of the game.

          No one but you believes that.

          Without a market, you have no place to sell your stuff. Used games increase the overall market for games in general

          Yes, and the question is how much. The idea that there would be no new market whatsoever if there were no used market is ridiculous, and you deserve ridicule for expressing it. Maybe 80% of the perceived value is based on the ability to resell, maybe it's 8%, but it's definitely not 100%.

        • Without a market, you have no place to sell your stuff.

          I'm not looking for a place to sell my stuff. I want to keep my stuff. I don't sell my games, because I enjoy having my rather large collection of them.

        • by ranton (36917)

          While many people on Slashdot keep claiming that the used game market is significant when compared to the new game market, they are all completely wrong. That is not my subjective opinion, it is a fact taken from the actual evidence: The size of the used game market.

          The new car market is 14.5 billion, vs a 40.5 billion used car market. That is a healthy used market.
          The new games market is about 22 billion vs a 2.5 billion used game market. While Gamestop may make most of its money on used games, the used ga

          • by JMJimmy (2036122)

            Not sure where you're getting your numbers from but they're WAY off:

            If you were to take your "new car market" number of $14.5 billion and http://www.gbm.scotiabank.com/English/bns_econ/bns_auto.pdf [scotiabank.com] Scotiabank's 2012 # of units produced: 62.45 million you'd have an average price of $232 per vehicle globally.

            The US market alone the used car estimate is over 350 billion and while estimates are that twice as many used cars are sold as new - the prices are obviously radically different though. US new car sales

            • by ranton (36917)

              Not sure where you're getting your numbers from but they're WAY off:

              Wow, I really did mistake the numbers I was gathering for my post. Those were not sales, they were total cars sold. And the numbers were in the millions, not billions.

              14.5 million new cars were sold in the US in 2012 (source [nytimes.com]), and 40.5 million used cars sold (source [msn.com]). Considering the average price of a new car is now about $30k (source [forbes.com]) and the price of a used car sale is about $10k (source [msn.com]), that puts the actual size of the market at the values listed below.

              $435 billion new car market vs $405 billion use

              • by JMJimmy (2036122)

                These are all based on a lot of estimates which vary slightly between sources, however, I would take serious issue with your source for game data - the source and the citations are interesting to say the least. NPD group on the other hand is a long standing market research group with experience estimating these types of things.

            • by ranton (36917)

              Conservative estimating though would suggest that the used market is at least as large, unit wise, as the new market and that's why Microsoft and publishers want control of it.

              Oops, forgot to refute this as well. Unit wise, the used game market is one fourth of the new game market. Considering that unit wise the used car market is 3 times the size of the new car market, it still holds that the used game market is much less of an influence on total game sales than the used car market is on total auto sales.

              I only have anecdotal evidence on how much the resale value of cars impacts someone's new car purchase. But the type of person I know who buys a new car isn't thinking too muc

              • Re:used games (Score:4, Informative)

                by JMJimmy (2036122) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @04:57PM (#43823539)

                If you dig a little deeper - you'll find a sizable chunk of people do care/don't purchase that way. From a 2006 report from OTX:

                http://gamasutra.com/images/OTXresale/OTXResaleStudy_howotheybuy.png [gamasutra.com]

                59% buy new before the game drops in price, 41% find a cheaper alternative (gift, used, bundle, after price drop). Gamestop's numbers are fairly close to this with a 68.5% to 31.5% split, but then again budget conscious gamers like myself don't buy used games at Gamestop because they're usually double the price of the local competition/online/etc

                The major thing which is not accounted for in either set of data is the pass around value. Games which leave my collection generally end up in 3-5 hands before being sold/lost track of/damaged/etc.

                • by ranton (36917)

                  59% buy new before the game drops in price, 41% find a cheaper alternative (gift, used, bundle, after price drop).

                  I'm not sure how you come to your conclusions. The figures show that games come from 67% new, 13% used, 12% gift, 7% bundle. Only 13% are used, although perhaps a small number of the 12% from gifts are used. So they are showing that somewhere around 80-85% of game sales are new games. And it also shows that even when people are trying to save a little money, they still prefer new games.

                  While gamasutra does show that a larger percentage of gamers do sell their games than I would have guessed, it still sho

    • While I own a lot of used games myself, I've always been partial to Sony's mandatory price cut on games that have sold well.

      The Greatest Hits program means any PS3 game that's been out for at least 10 months and sold a half million copies will sell at no more than $29.99. The 10 month wait is a bit long but its a great idea and I hope they keep it up on the PS4.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_Hits_(video_games) [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:47AM (#43821543)

    Yes. Yes it will.

    Consoles in general are going the way of the dodo. This all-in-one media center thing is pretty stupid, you can get a nettop/boxee/android based player for 50-100 bucks that can do all the advanced interactive media features Microsoft and Sony are so excited about (play netflix and youtube).

    I don't know if people are stupid enough to pay 5-6 hundred to Microsoft or Sony for the same functionality.

    I don't expect to see record breaking sales from any of the big three consoles. But Nintendo is smart to keep the cost down (oh noes hardcore gamerz, it doesnt have 32 core mega gigablips), and trade off their in house titles.

    Nintendo consoles end up in kids bedrooms, not living rooms. Things will pick up for them after a price drop. Nintendo doesn't need to outsell Sony or MS, they play their own game. They just need to sell enough to keep pushing out the Mario and Zelda titles.

    • by JMJimmy (2036122)

      Nintendo is also the most profitable company per employee. With only ~5000 employees they can afford a poor selling console easily.

      I predict PS4 "wins" this round but no one wins overall (esp the consumer) and Steambox and/or PC will make a resurgence... just not enough to really put it on the map.

      • by David_Hart (1184661) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @02:28PM (#43822759)

        Nintendo is also the most profitable company per employee. With only ~5000 employees they can afford a poor selling console easily.

        I predict PS4 "wins" this round but no one wins overall (esp the consumer) and Steambox and/or PC will make a resurgence... just not enough to really put it on the map.

        I bought the Wii when it came out. I liked the ability to play with up to four other players in certain games. Plus, I used the Wii Fit from time to time to switch up my exercise routine. Beyond the occasional use, it sits there gathering dust. I'm certainly not going to upgrade to the Wii U.

        I used to be an avid PC gamer but switched over to the XBox 360 when it came out. I then switched to the PS3 a few years later as my brother-in-law had the PS3 and I wanted to be able to exchange games with him. I've used it for gaming until recently. Skyrim, and the problems with the PS3 DLCs, forced me to switch back to the PC Now, I tend to use the PS3 mostly for Netflix. However, my new Blu-ray player supports Netflix as well, so the PS3 is largely also going unused.

        Today, I'm back to PC gaming and loving it. I had forgotten just how great the graphics are, how fast the games load, and how much user generated content is available. I've since purchased the XBox connector and enjoy playing games on my HD TV using my XBox controller.

        Personally, I'm not interested in the new consoles....

        • by JMJimmy (2036122)

          I'm about the same - I've got a more ideological take on it but PS3, Wii, Kinect are all dust collectors for me. 360 gets played constantly but almost never used for anything but games. Bluray was never important for me since the video rental industry collapsed at the time DVD was still popular and prices hadn't come down on purchasing Bluray (did they ever? no idea).

          I'm not a huge fan of Steam's DRM but with the recent EU decision I'm hoping reselling will be possible across the board. Either way I don

          • I wonder if the EU decision will screw Steam over. The abundance of discounts they offer are likely predicated on the idea that you can't turn around and resell the games for cheap immediately, if that becomes an option I can totally see the sales becoming far weaker.
    • See, that's what I've been saying, Consoles are going bye-bye. People have come to the conclusion that the previous Gen is just as good and not worth upgrading. And didn't devs already say the next generation of Video Games will be $100+?.

      I really haven't heard any young people talking much about the Next Gen. Frankly I think they are more concerned with their Phones than sitting at home in front of a Television. I predict this new Gen of Consoles will pan out to be in-line with what happened to Wii U.

      I'll

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      The dedicated players are often fanless, and thus much quieter too...
      Some of the consoles can make quite a noise which can become a significant annoyance when trying to watch a movie.

  • Uh, yes? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:48AM (#43821549)

    Considering that sales of the Wii U have *spiked* since the Xbox One announcement, I think it's pretty clear that Nintendo can survive.

    What's different about this generation? That most third-party games are ignoring the Wii U? Guess what - that happened with the Wii and Gamecube (to a lesser extent) as well. No good launch titles? Look at the 3DS - dead on arrival, but it's picking up, and while it's not the runaway success of the DS, it's no failure.

    Hell, the only "different" thing about this generation is how badly Nintendo botched the naming (a lot of consumer confusion because "Wii U" sounds more like a new hardware iteration of the Wii than a new console). But fortunately, Microsoft came out with an even worse name for their console.

    And Nintendo also has the advantage of having a strong focus on games. Sure, they don't actually have too many actual games right now, but even when talking about the hardware, their message is always "how it makes better games". Compare to Sony's distractions with Youtube uploading or "social gaming", or to Microsoft's "it's a set-top Windows 8 box that also plays Call of Duty" abomination of a conference.

    But there's one fundamental reason why Nintendo can survive Sony and Microsoft - they don't care. Most Nintendo console owners buy them to play Nintendo games, which isn't the case for Sony or Microsoft consoles. First-party games might boost the other consoles up, but they always exist as much to play third-party games as first-party.

    So the only threat to Nintendo is... Nintendo. Which, admittedly, it a pretty big threat right now - a lot of their recent games have been going downhill (Skyward Sword, Other M), and they haven't yet come up with a good killer app for the Wii U.

    • by tuffy (10202)

      What's hard to figure out is just what Nintendo's 1st party studios have been doing all this time, since support for the Wii effectively ended a long time ago. It seems like the transition to HD has hit them with the same difficulties a lot of other Japanese studios faced. So crucial software is in short supply and titles original slated for the launch window are still months away from actual release.

      But as you say, it is possible for Nintendo's 1st party output to carry a system to profitability. The Ga

  • Sega did it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jack Malmostoso (899729) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:49AM (#43821557)

    I would be extremely happy of being able to play the next Mario on something else than a Nintendo console. I bought the Wii just for Super Mario Wii, I loved the game, but now I have a white piece of plastic doing nothing underneath my TV.

    It's not going to happen, but it would be very nice.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:55AM (#43821593) Journal
    They need to let people know what they have. Penny Arcade did some reviews [penny-arcade.com] that make it look amazing [penny-arcade.com]. Here's a quote for an example:

    My wife and I played the shit out of this level over the weekend trying for hours to get the best score we could and claim a gold trophy. For me it’s a classic platformer with incredibly tight controls and beautiful graphics. For her it’s a touch based game similar to something you might play on the iPad.......

    I have been married to my wife for 13 years and I cannot remember a time before this weekend that we un-ironically high fived. When we finally got the gold trophy we leapt up and slapped hands like two dudes at a flag football game. I will say that it took us hours of trying the same level over and over again before we got there though. There was a lot of communication that had to happen. “is it better for you if I leave this platform up or down?” “Should I run through this part or slow down before I jump?” There was were mistakes made by both of us. “Sorry, that was my fault I missed that wall jump.” “Crap I didn’t lower that spike wall in time, my bad.” and there were a couple (joking?) threats of divorce. At the end when we had the gold trophy I tweeted that it was the greatest thing we had ever accomplished as a couple. Someone asked about our kids and I said I was including the kids.

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:02PM (#43821651)

    There's simply been no compelling games for the system - and I'm saying that as a fan of most big-hitter Nintendo games, who has purchased all the previous major systems to play those big games, and a large number of the more quirky third party titles and RPGs too.

    No Metroid Prime games (haunting and epic), no Mario Galaxy games (wonderful and diverse exploration), no Zelda games (charming and intricate systems to explore), no compelling RPGs over here at least (Dragon Quest, etc.), and nothing interesting like a Kirby game. Even the one captivating game I played at PAX - Pikmin 3 - hasn't even been released yet.

    All I've noticed has been lame party games, shameless re-releases, cross-ports, and a freakin' zombie game. Even more for the download titles.

    That is precisely a system that should not sell well.

    If they wanted to sell this system, there's a risky thing they could do though - open up a downloadable game section devoted to indies, and release a quality free SDK. Only let them be free downloads, but allow an optional (based on developer intention) greenlight-style voting mechanism for them to become sold in the marketplace, with multiple voting questions like "is this game bug-free enough to be a professional product?" THEN, you can charge the indie developer for an in-house testing cycle and you can end up having something more than re-releases to remind people about. This likely wouldn't be acceptable to staunch managers from a software 'piracy' perspective, but if the system is selling so poorly - really, lure the potential pirates in, and let a community of indie developers convert them into paying customers.

    Ryan Fenton

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      The "compelling games" problem seems to be impacting all the new consoles equally. The release of the Xbox One seemed to be conspicous in how little attention was given to it as a gaming platform. Whatever console manages to capture the attention of various types of gamer will do well. I am not convinced that ANY of the new consoles have managed to do that yet.

      They're all MEH, the whole lot of them.

    • by godrik (1287354)

      I concur with your analysis. I loved the wii and still play it frequently. I was naturally interested in the wii U. The Rayman demo sold me to it. So I thought I'd buy them both at the same time in february. Except the game was delayed to september. I checked out other games on the system and honestly, there are maybe 3 games currently released I'd like to play. Meanwhile, I'll keep on playing the wii...

  • by Zedrick (764028) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:08PM (#43821693)
    The Wii U's biggest competitor is the Wii. I have the Wii, and I really don't see the point in getting a Wii U. The Wii is kind of special, at least I use it to play games together with others, in the living room.

    As I understand it, the U makes it possible to continue playing if somebody wants to use the TV... Eh. But if we're playing together, why would one of us suddenly demand to sit down and watch TV? (also, the only "TV" we watch nowadays is Netflix, on the Wii or the PS3).
    • by Clsid (564627)

      The main reason to switch is the HD graphics in my opinion. That was the biggest problem with the original Wii in my opinion. I didn't care about underpowered graphics or any stuff like that, because Nintendo is kind of like World of Warcraft: they make cartoony graphics that make having a good graphics card a moot point.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The main reason to switch is the HD graphics in my opinion. That was the biggest problem with the original Wii in my opinion. I didn't care about underpowered graphics or any stuff like that, because Nintendo is kind of like World of Warcraft: they make cartoony graphics that make having a good graphics card a moot point.

        Shoulda got a better TV. A good scaler makes the Wii graphics look pretty decent. I am using a 52" AQUOS (old enough to have CCFL backlighting) and the Wii looks fine. For the kind of games they do, which are as you say cartoony, you really don't need HD graphics.

        I would have considered a Wii U if they'd had decent launch games and supported four symmetric controllers. Some games don't need four people to have screens, and some games would benefit from it massively. I think many of us would like a four-play

  • by goruka (1721094) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:11PM (#43821715)
    Nintendo is not Sega. It has plenty of hit first party titles and franchises and knows how to execute them well, Wii U is only selling poorly because such titles have not been released, or even announced, yet.
    A few years ago, Nintendo adopted a really bizarre politic of not announcing their own games until a short time before they are ready to launch, so the landscape of the Wii U is completely empty.
    The situation will likely change after E3 (or not).
  • Simply put, the WiiU can survive if they maintain their in-house software. I bought a WiiU, basically, so I could buy the next Zelda game. And Super Metroid for the third time. The problem with the WiiU right now is most of the games available are cross-platform. I could already have those games on the 360. And I do like the 360, and especially enjoy the XBLA, but after seeing the dashboard get more and more cluttered with junk, and reading about Microsoft's noose-tying, shoe-polishing announcement on the X
  • My kids are too young to play the Wii-U and they can barely play anything but Mario Kart. I hope the big N can hang on for a few more years.

  • by SageinaRage (966293) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:13PM (#43821739)
    And I'm still up in the air about a PS4, and definitely not getting an Xbox One, so it's at least in contention. Ultimately it will come down to the games, like it always does. Nobody thought the DS could compare with the PSP, and then the games came out and everybody realized what was important.
  • Look, it's not about graphics. It's not about some shooter some other console has. It's about the fact that you can spend money on their console, have it break, and be out all the money you spent, or beg Nintendo for help. It's about the fact that if you transfer your games from a Wii (Assuming it works, which apparently it frequently doesn't) then it bricks your Wii. That's like saying once you buy a ps4 your ps3 will refuse to turn on again. It's ridiculous.

    I won't touch their consoles again until th

    • by tuffy (10202)

      If you do transfer your software from the Wii (which rarely fails except in cases of power loss or user error), it does not "brick" the Wii. The software is simply moved over and the Wii is no longer attached to those titles for redownload purposes.

      And the fact is, lack of backwards compatibility makes the PS3 and 360 accounts systems meaningless. There is no way to transfer purchased titles to the next generations of those systems at all. So once the PS3 and 360 are no longer made, those games are effec

  • by lord_mike (567148) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @12:28PM (#43821861)

    Yes, the games are less exciting and on a smaller screen, but the devices are nearly ubiquitous right now, and the games are a fraction of the price of a console game. People get used to paying $0.99 for Plants vs. Zombies, then wonder why it costs $20 for the same game on the Xbox? Add the possibility of similar bargains and freedom with the upcoming Ouya (but on a larger screen), and suddenly, these consoles and their respective games seem massively overpriced for what you get. Yes, they offer a richer experience. Is it worth 10 times of the cost of a similar iPad version? That's what consumers are grappling with right now. Add in the fact that the console makers treat their customers like garbage, and many people are saying, forget it. I'll just play games on my phone.

    • by imsabbel (611519)

      Small Correction:

      Mobile and Tablets COMPLETELY kill the casual gaming market that was Nintendos way of success with the Wii. They managed to outsell PS3 and XBox 360 because they did target people who normally would not by a game console.

      That ship has sailed.

    • I agree to a point. However, the new shared-memory architecture of new consoles and high end computing devices opens the floodgates for new types of gamelpay that haven't yet been possible. There are several kinds of game mechanics. The two basic types are designed and emergent. The lower power devices are fine for tightly honed designs of jumping on blocks, logic puzzles, or a even First Person Looking Game (seriously, in a FPS its' just hide and seek with scoring for looking at people more precisely)

    • Yes, the games are less exciting and on a smaller screen, but the devices are nearly ubiquitous right now, and the games are a fraction of the price of a console game. People get used to paying $0.99 for Plants vs. Zombies, then wonder why it costs $20 for the same game on the Xbox? Add the possibility of similar bargains and freedom with the upcoming Ouya (but on a larger screen), and suddenly, these consoles and their respective games seem massively overpriced for what you get. Yes, they offer a richer experience. Is it worth 10 times of the cost of a similar iPad version? That's what consumers are grappling with right now. Add in the fact that the console makers treat their customers like garbage, and many people are saying, forget it. I'll just play games on my phone.

      Or they're different markets entirely with very little overlap.

  • Just about anything's going to win against the Xbone. I'm not putting up a dime for it and if casual and bros want to buy it they can, but it won't be a machine for gamers. Given the option of buying an NES or an Xbone I'd buy an NES, and since there is a lovely new release of one I can. The Wii U may or may not be able to handel the PS4. If the PS4 does the same thing with Used Games and Lending that MS has done then Wii U wins. Really the 3DS was in hot water and Nintendo now has it on the route to succes
  • Which... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _KiTA_ (241027) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @01:00PM (#43822113) Homepage

    Which one is the one of the three that allows used game sales? (To the point of EA refusing to work with them when they refused to let EA block used game sales on their own?)

    Wii U? ... Yeah, ok. Good luck with your XBox One ("Now with less games"(tm) ) and Playstation 4 ("Oh god we forgot the games.") purchases.

  • It's this article. Again. That I see every single generation, both portable and console. It's this simple. Nintendo knows it's power exists in first-generation titles, and it will never publish its A-list properties on other consoles. And as long as they don't, they will never fail. I'm sure someone will, or already has, argued the VirtualBoy against the idea of Nintendo's continued success, and of course there's some merit there, but lets be honest, they were simply ahead of their time. After all, her
  • The Wii U is failing for one reason only: it is a truly awful product - an unmitigated design fiasco for which Nintendo deserves some special punishment in the market. Why? Let me count the ways. The wifi implementation is a complete disaster (maybe the antenna?) Sitting right next to an old Wii, the U failed to connect to wifi (read the endless online complaints about this) - it took hours just to do the initial OS update (I used to set up networks for a living.) The device itself is painfully slow in the
    • by tuffy (10202)

      When playing Wii games, the Wii U isn't emulating anything. It switches to a hardware compatibility mode and essentially becomes a Wii. And since the Wii doesn't know how to talk to the pad, the pad shuts down. This is exactly how the Wii handled Gamecube compatibility - which is one way to guarantee games will work.

      Also, Wiimotes show up just fine for games that support them. There's even an option to pair them in the Wii U's home menu. It's actually rather nice to not have to buy a whole new set of c

  • The worst thing about the wii u is the released it before having a solid set of games. That will be resolved and it will be a good games console with a solid line up of Mario, Zelda, etc games. The xbox wants to be a cable tv box and won't let you give away games to friends. Anyone with half a brain who is a gamer won't buy it.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      oh wow a mario, reboot would be awesome, they havent done that in what ... almost a year

      • Monopoly, Scrabble and Battleship are all the same exact game as they were decades ago and they're still fun. The same can be said about Mario games. There's no reason to be butt hurt that Nintendo can make both new franchises and continue old ones and make them fun to play.
  • This upcoming generation is going to be a let down and will probably cause many video game developers to lose their jobs. Publishers are getting greedy and customers are tired of being treated like crap. I do see Nintendo just riding the storm since every console they sell is at profit, even if their software selection sucks. Microsoft just loves to put the kiss of death on their products, the used game policy is just one of these. As for Sony, I still don't know how they will do. Sony needs to release the
  • I have a Wii U. I use it at least some. I have no intention of getting either the PS4 or the Xbox One. This is not unique among gamers I know.

  • by AAWood (918613) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `doowaa'> on Saturday May 25, 2013 @05:03PM (#43823557)

    It'll also serve as a bellwether to see if the big gamer complaint about the new Sony and Microsoft consoles — that they're only partly about games — is honest. 'At a time when the goal of its competitors is to own the living room, the extent of Nintendo's ambition is simply to be in it — a dedicated games console, and no more.'"

    This implies (or assumes?) that people who want a gaming-specific system will outright reject anything that does have extra things they don't need, instead buying whatever the latest gaming-focused system is, regardless of quality... And that if they don't, their complaints were false.

    That doesn't fit at all. People don't just decide on a choice based on one factor, they find the best fit between several... And, imo, will probably be more inclined to budge on "isn't weighed down with useless functionality" than "doesn't have a cripplingly limited range of mostly gimmicky games". That doesn't make a complaint about the lack of gaming focus valid, it just means its the best of a bad situation. Personally, I've already decided not to bother with any of the next gen systems.

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